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Postgraduate study in Ireland or Northern Ireland

Useful tips if you're thinking of moving from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, or vice versa, for a postgraduate course.
Bridge over the river in Dublin

If your chosen area of study is not available where you did your undergraduate degree it may be worth moving from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, or vice versa.

While you'll find no differences in teaching style, there are practical considerations to be aware of. The most obvious is the currency difference. From anecdotal evidence, students from the Euro zone find the euro doesn't go as far in the UK (some students in the border regions tend to travel home each night, rather than socialising and living in NI in order to save money). However, the cost of accommodation is lower in NI: the average rent for a room ranges from about £47 per week in Belfast to £65 per week in Jordanstown.

Getting funding

There is no longer any financial help available from local education authorities in NI. Students from ROI, studying in NI, may qualify for a Higher Education grant from their county councils, subject to means testing and residency. This could include full fees and full maintenance.

A person is classified as resident of ROI if they are living in the Republic for a year (eg, from October of the year previous to starting a postgraduate course), so it could be useful for an NI student to take a job in the south for a year and then to be classified as a resident.

Students are classified as mature students if they are aged 23 by 1 January of the year they are commencing study and can be assessed as independent of parents.